Carrot Cake with Orange-Saffron Cream

Carrot Cake with Orange-Saffron Cream

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From: EatingWell Magazine, May 2019

Homemade carrot cake is always a treat. In this recipe, a topping made of whipped mascarpone cream flavored with orange, saffron and white chocolate elevates the super-moist carrot cake. To make the cake healthier, we've used half whole-wheat flour instead of all white flour—you won't notice the difference in this delicious cake.

Ingredients 18 servings

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Original recipe yields 18 servings
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  • Cake
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white whole-wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup canola oil or avocado oil
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 5 cups shredded carrots (1 pound)
  • Orange-Saffron Cream
  • 1 cup heavy cream, divided
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest, plus julienned zest for garnish
  • 3 saffron threads
  • ⅓ cup white chocolate chips
  • ⅓ cup mascarpone cheese


  • Prep

  • Ready In

  1. To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Beat oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until starting to lighten in color, about 2 minutes. Slowly add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined before adding the next. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Add carrots and mix until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack, about 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare orange-saffron cream: Heat ¾ cup cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until just steaming. Place zest and saffron in a small bowl. Pour the hot cream over them and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain (discard zest and saffron). Refrigerate the saffron cream until cold, about 30 minutes.
  5. Combine chocolate chips and the remaining ¼ cup cream in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on High, stirring halfway through, until just melted, about 30 seconds. Cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes.
  6. Transfer the saffron cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Add mascarpone and beat just until medium peaks form. Fold ¼ cup of the mixture into the chocolate mixture until combined, then scrape the chocolate mixture back into the remaining saffron cream. Beat just until lightly whipped, 5 to 10 seconds; do not overmix.
  7. Serve the cake topped with the saffron-orange cream and more orange zest, if desired.
  • To make ahead: Store cake (Steps 1-3) airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 slice
  • Per serving: 341 calories; 21 g fat(7 g sat); 2 g fiber; 35 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein; 31 mcg folate; 68 mg cholesterol; 23 g sugars; 17 g added sugars; 4,587 IU vitamin A; 2 mg vitamin C; 90 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 238 mg sodium; 158 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (92% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 4 fat, 1½ other carbohydrate, ½ starch

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